“Sun Surf and Skating Adventures”
Cruise review of Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

denise higgins Independence of the Seas 5 Sun Surf and Skating Adventures
denise higgins
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My 12 year old daughter and I headed off to Southampton,mid August 2009, for a 14 day cruise around the Med on the Independence of the Seas. Arriving at Southampton by car, we were impressed with the logistics of getting cars parked, luggage out and the whole boarding process. We then boarded and walked around what was the biggest sailing cruise liner (now the 2nd biggest I think). Shortly after arriving to our cabin, our luggage was present, the cabin was extremely clean and our room attendant was extremely pleasant and helpful.

My daughter had an absolutely superb time, ice skating, climbing the wall, and riding the surf machines on days at sea, and on return from visits ashore! An absolutely fun packed and entertaining ship for older children.

Anytime dining was good for us, we could eat in the main informal dining room and also the lovely formal dining room whenever we wanted which was great. Drinks packages can be bought either beforehand or once on board - we purchased a soft drinks package for my daughter which worked out good value. Many drinks available free all day - coffee tea, juices, water etc.

Promenade had a reasonable variety of shops and was also the venue for some of the parades which were entertaining for all ages. Evening entertainment was varied and of a high standard. The ice shows were very popular though and many could not get tickets even after queueing from 7am time announced (go half hour earlier would be my recommendation).

The port drop offs/organisation was well organised, although it's no mean feat getting thousands of people off the ship - disembark early or wait until mid day to avoid some queueing. Excursions varied in choice and price. I went on three and none of them disappointing. Food choice and quality excellent in all restaurants, friendly service from all received. Spa facilities and gym very good, excellent range of treatments, a brilliant family holiday for all - even if you never wanted to get off throughout the 14 days - would be plenty to do!

Independence of the Seas Cruises to the Western Mediterranean
Overall Ratings
  • Cabin
  • Dining
  • Embarkation
  • Enrichment Activities
  • Entertainment
  • Family & Children
  • Fitness & Recreation
  • Onboard Experience
  • Public Rooms
  • Rates
  • Service
  • Shore Excursions
  • Value for Money

Cabin review: Interior Stateroom

N
Was quiet, quite a way from the elevators though - would book more mid ship next time (we were in a cabin at rear of ship) facilities overall were good, and well serviced. would have liked more hangers already in the closet/wardrobe(although we did get some more with no problem when we asked). Bathroom was small but ok for the 2 of us.

Port and Shore Excursions

Port
Another resort which offers plenty to do - again could disembark and explore alone. Great shops, visit Las Ramblas. Walk along the beach or sun bath, swim in the sea. Lovely bustley experience. For the more adventurous or those who want to go further afield, choices of organised excursions were good

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Port
been here before but still got off - can disembark and just walk around here town beach etc all very accessible. walk past famous hotels, see where the film festival held, browse past designer shops. See wonderful yachts and mega expensive cars. No real need here to have an excursion can experience plenty without.

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From the port of Livorno you can go to Florence or Pisa. Florence outstanding if you've not been before and wonderful things to see. Pisa - very touristy but worth a look at the leaning tower for an hour or so - plenty of stalls selling everything from pasta, to i love Pisa sweatshirts! line of cafes to get food and beverage. We did an organised excursion booked on board, which gave us a morning in Pisa, then travelled to a wonderful private beach in an exclusive beach resort - with good shops and facilities. I would definitely recommend this trip - and excellent value.

Port
did trip on cable car up the cliffs to see the monkey inhabitants. very long queues for the cable car, if you do on your own the suggest you go in a taxi instead they are also good entertaining guides. harbour area has big ambitions lots of new and expensive flats recently built - great shopping including some well known names from the UK - a bit of Britain abroad in that respect but without any tacky Brits abroad evidence. well worth disembarking - children will love the monkeys.....

Port
We didin't do a trp here but just walked around a bit. the port is huge and also very industrial you will need to get public transport or do an excurions to see anything special. however, if you just want to have a walk about, worth getting off for excellent ice cream, and deli shops - very very italian and authentic. Good place to pick up some limoncello, olive oil, luxury pasta or other lovely italian bits and pieces.

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Port
A working industrial port here - not much of interest in Vigo itself - need to do some excursions here to warrant getting off ship, although there is a small shopping centre right at the port side.

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Published 08/13/10
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Independence of the Seas Cruises to the Western Mediterranean
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